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Talking About Money Matters

Talking About Money Matters

If it was difficult to talk with your loved one about money issues before the problems with the economy, it is likely that it may be even more difficult now.  With more people losing jobs and having such a hard time finding new work emotions will run high.  A recent article released by Candice Choi of the Associated Press urges coupes to talk about their finances while giving some good advice on how and what we should be talking about. 

A personal finance correspondent for CNBC, Sharon Epperson, advises couples not to point fingers when talking about money.  It’s more constructive to come up with a plan rather than waste time placing blame on a person.  If you and your spouse hit a brick wall seeking a third party may be the best option for you.

Epperson reports to the Associated Press, “You might know what the counselor is going to say.  But it’s your spouse that needs to hear it.”  Most people facing financial troubles may discount the idea of speaking to a therapist because they think it will just be one more bill to have to figure in to the budget.  But this is not so.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) offers free or inexpensive assistance with more than 900 locations across the country.  Some of the agencies charge a $15 one-time fee that can be waived for those who can’t afford to pay while other NFCC agencies offer free consultations.  Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the NFCC, explained, “Seeing a counselor about money matters doesn’t mean you and your partner aren’t compatible.  It’s simply a way to avoid the resentment the topic often breeds.”

If you don’t know where to begin when discussing financial issues as a couple, the article offers a few talking points that are of importance:
?    How to divide bills, especially if salaries differ greatly;
?    How much of your earnings to spend, save, and invest;
?    How much to save in retirement accounts;
?    Whether to have separate or joint bank accounts; and
?    Your confidence about job security and how things will work

What do you think of the importance of discussing finances with your spouse?

Would you ever consider talking about finances with a third party?
 

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  • oatw13 By oatw13
    02.20.09  

    It is important for everyone to know exactly the state of their finances. It should not be the "elephant in the room" that no one wants to talk about. You should be an active participant in your financial situation. It is especially important for couples to know and understand each other's financial personality so they can learn to work towards common financial goals. It is ok to talk to a 3rd party and it can often be beneficial as a 3rd party will see things that you are too close to see for yourself.

  • y42796 By y42796
    02.20.09  

    Talking about money is so important! I really like the idea of talking to a financial planner so that both people are on the same page. Otherwise too many things can go wrong. Personally with two salaries, I really like the idea of the percentage plan for expenses. The person making 70% of the income pays 70% of the bill. Both people having similar goals also helps to make sticking to a plan alot easier. Without common goals there is little incentive to save.

  • devincoats By devincoats
    02.24.09  

    My guess is, if you and your spouse are having a hard time talking about money, then you are probably not talking about other things either. Communication is the key in having a wonderful, fruitful marriage. If it is difficult, no matter what the topic, counseling may need to be considered. Although it may be costly (financially), it is not as expensive, or detrimental as divorce!

  • jh0816 By jh0816
    03.04.09  

    this is true, my husband and i were arguing about money, then decided to work on it together - we now do focus groups in the evenings, mystery shopping and creative things like that (that also seem like dates!) to make some extra money!

  • linda_answer By linda_answer
    03.24.09  

    My hubby lost his job over a year ago. After the shock wore off, we sat down and discussed things we could cut down on or completely cut out. We did not argue although we talk to each other openly about everything anyway, no matter the subject. We have always made communication our number one goal. That is the key to a happy marriage. We have been together since high school and just celebrated our 31st anniversary. We have had money problems on and off in our marriage, and if anything, it brought us even closer together. "What don't kill you only makes you stronger."

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